Home » Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Intelligent Design, News » Dr Tour’s comment on no scientist understanding “macroevolution” seems to be going viral . . .

Dr Tour’s comment on no scientist understanding “macroevolution” seems to be going viral . . .

I just checked the most popular tables and saw how VJT’s UD James Tour article got 30,000 or so hits within a few days.


Reddit and Facebook etc atheists are suddenly screaming (and don’t seem to know that Dr Tour DID meet with someone for private discussion and . . . by implication, has not found a satisfactory answer) — per Groovamos at 9, this was a mis-impression on my part)  but, again, why?

Then Google popped up: VJT has republished the article at Science News on Feb. 18. [--> He was credited as author, it seems there has been an auto-publishing.]

We are getting the back-wash of that spreading publicity.

All to the good.

Let those who would dismiss Dr Tour’s concerns answer to points such as this, from the man who built the molecular car.

First, his Veritas Forum Talk:

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

Second, a key claim highlighted by VJT:

James Tour's molecular nanocar 2

James Tour’s molecular nanocar 2

I will tell you as a scientist and a synthetic chemist: if anybody should be able to understand evolution, it is me, because I make molecules for a living, and I don’t just buy a kit, and mix this and mix this, and get that. I mean, ab initio, I make molecules. I understand how hard it is to make molecules. I understand that if I take Nature’s tool kit, it could be much easier, because all the tools are already there, and I just mix it in the proportions, and I do it under these conditions, but ab initio is very, very hard.

I don’t understand evolution, and I will confess that to you. Is that OK, for me to say, “I don’t understand this”? Is that all right? I know that there’s a lot of people out there that don’t understand anything about organic synthesis, but they understand evolution. I understand a lot about making molecules; I don’t understand evolution. And you would just say that, wow, I must be really unusual.

Let me tell you what goes on in the back rooms of science – with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. I have sat with them, and when I get them alone, not in public – because it’s a scary thing, if you say what I just said – I say, “Do you understand all of this, where all of this came from, and how this happens?” Every time that I have sat with people who are synthetic chemists, who understand this, they go “Uh-uh. Nope.” These people are just so far off, on how to believe this stuff came together. I’ve sat with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. Sometimes I will say, “Do you understand this?”And if they’re afraid to say “Yes,” they say nothing. They just stare at me, because they can’t sincerely do it.

I was once brought in by the Dean of the Department, many years ago, and he was a chemist. He was kind of concerned about some things. I said, “Let me ask you something. You’re a chemist. Do you understand this? How do you get DNA without a cell membrane? And how do you get a cell membrane without a DNA? And how does all this come together from this piece of jelly?” We have no idea, we have no idea. I said, “Isn’t it interesting that you, the Dean of science, and I, the chemistry professor, can talk about this quietly in your office, but we can’t go out there and talk about this?”

If you understand evolution, I am fine with that. I’m not going to try to change you – not at all. In fact, I wish I had the understanding that you have.

But about seven or eight years ago I posted on my Web site that I don’t understand. And I said, “I will buy lunch for anyone that will sit with me and explain to me evolution, and I won’t argue with you until I don’t understand something – I will ask you to clarify. But you can’t wave by and say, “This enzyme does that.” You’ve got to get down in the details of where molecules are built, for me. Nobody has come forward.

The Atheist Society contacted me. They said that they will buy the lunch, and they challenged the Atheist Society, “Go down to Houston and have lunch with this guy, and talk to him.” Nobody has come! Now remember, because I’m just going to ask, when I stop understanding what you’re talking about, I will ask. So I sincerely want to know. I would like to believe it. But I just can’t.

Now, I understand microevolution, I really do. We do this all the time in the lab. I understand this. But when you have speciation changes, when you have organs changing, when you have to have concerted lines of evolution, all happening in the same place and time – not just one line – concerted lines, all at the same place, all in the same environment … this is very hard to fathom.

I was in Israel not too long ago, talking with a bio-engineer, and [he was] describing to me the ear, and he was studying the different changes in the modulus of the ear, and I said, “How does this come about?” And he says, “Oh, Jim, you know, we all believe in evolution, but we have no idea how it happened.” Now there’s a good Jewish professor for you. I mean, that’s what it is. So that’s where I am. Have I answered the question? (52:00 to 56:44)

While we are it, the UD pro-darwinism essay challenge is still open:

provide a 6,000 word feature-length article that justifies the Darwinist tree of life from its OOL roots up through the Cambrian revo — as in Darwin’s Doubt territory — and other major formation of body plans up to and including our own origins, and we will host it here at UD, one of the leading ID blogs in the world. We are perfectly willing to host a parallel post with another site. Only, you must provide thesis and observation based evidence that solidly justifies your conclusions in light of inference to best explanation, the vera causa principle and other basic principles of sound scientific induction. Also, you must actually argue the case in outline, a summing up if you will.  You must strive to avoid Lewontin’s a priori evolutionary materialism, and if you would redefine science on such terms you will have to reasonably justify why that is not a question-begging definition, in a way that is historically and philosophically soundly informed. Of course, you may link sources elsewhere, but you must engage the task of providing a coherent, non-question-begging, cogent argument in summary at the level of a feature-length serious magazine article . . . no literature bluffs in short.

While I am at it, let me add what the Smithsonian calls the modern tree of life, to underscore the point of the inseparability of OOL and origin of main body plans:


If the goods were out there, there would have been dozens of eager applicants.

Suffice to say, that apart from attempts to get back to the usual Darwinist attack-rhetoric tactics, we had no serious take-up after a full year. I put together a very unsatisfactory composite from in-thread exchanges as a measure of where the matter stands.

Let’s see if the oh so eager Darwinists can do better now. So, Reddit, Facebook, TSZ, ATBC, Anti-Evo, etc Darwinists and atheists, what is your answer on the merits?  END

F/N, Mar 16: Kindly cf my markup of Sewell’s clip on the 1980 Field Museum closed doors meeting of a top circle of 150, here. It’s all there, evo as fact, stasis and gaps, usage of macro and micro evo in the context of the top dogs, even the attempt to read the genetic code as an argument from homology to common descent, and more.